Állásfoglalásra irányuló indítvány - B6-0469/2006Állásfoglalásra irányuló indítvány
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to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Monica Frassoni
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group
on the situation in Lebanon

Eljárás : 2006/2617(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Lebanon

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular that of 10 March 2005,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in particular that of 1 June 2006,

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2006 on the European Neighbourhood Policy,

–  having regard to its resolution of 27 October 2005 on the Barcelona Process revisited,

–  having regard to the Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean and the Middle East, which the European Council endorsed on 18 June 2004,

–  having regard to the Conclusions of the extraordinary General Affairs and External Relations Council meetings of 1 August and 25 August 2006,

–  having regard to UN Human Rights Council Special Session Resolution S-2/1 of 11 August 2006,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  deeply shocked by the massive airstrike campaign on Lebanon started by Israel on 12 July 2006, which was followed by a ground offensive at a later stage, in response to an incursion of Hezbollah militias that killed three IDF soldiers and kidnapped two,

B.  extremely concerned at the high number of deaths and casualties among innocent civilians and the widespread destruction of cities, villages and infrastructures in Lebanon,

C.  extremely concerned at the number of victims and the damage caused on Israeli territory by the rockets launched by the Hezbollah militias,

D.  pointing out that during the Lebanese crisis Israel has stepped up its policy of targeted assassinations in the Occupied Territories, killing in this period more than 200 people, most of whom were innocent civilians,

E.  emphasising that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be regarded as the root cause of the instability in the region,

F.  underlining that the international community is once again confronted with the failure of a prevention policy, due also to the ineffectiveness of the UN in enforcing Security Council resolutions, in particular Resolution 1559 and all the other UNSC resolutions dealing with the Middle East,

G.  pointing out that the reluctance of some Member States to take a strong stance at the beginning of the crisis has prevented the Council from responding quickly and effectively, thus showing once again the shortfalls of the EU common foreign policy,

H.  stressing that the humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Territories is worsening in spite of the Temporary Interim Mechanism (TIM) set up by the international community in order to continue providing assistance to the Palestinian population,

I.  pointing out that Israel is still illegally withholding the payment of tax and customs revenues to the Palestinian Authority and that the Rafah crossing point was sealed from 25 June to 25 August,

J.  whereas, besides the material destruction and the humanitarian catastrophe, the region is now boiling with anger, despair, resentment and frustration, driving even more old and young people towards radical movements,

K.  stressing that the enemies of peace on both sides are now much stronger, making dialogue much more difficult, and pointing out that there is a real fear of a new arms race in the region which must be immediately halted,

1.  Takes the view that there is no military solution to the problems of the Middle East; points out that, in its high-scale and disproportionate attack on Lebanon, Israel has failed to achieve its declared objectives, namely the release of the two IDF soldiers and the dismantlement of Hezbollah;

2.  Condemns the abusive and deliberately indiscriminate use of force on the part of Israel, in particular the bombing of civilian areas, the use of illegal weapons, the widespread destruction of civil infrastructure and the widespread pollution of coastal areas;

3.  Condemns the indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hezbollah on Israeli territory, including civilian areas, and its destruction of life, property and the environment;

4.  Welcomes the decision by the Lebanese Government to deploy its forces in South Lebanon and the Israeli army’s agreement to withdraw behind the Blue Line as foreseen by UNSC Resolution 1701; also welcomes the Lebanese Government's strong support for an enhanced role to be given to UNIFIL;

5.  Calls on both sides – Hezbollah and Israel – to respect fully the US-France brokered UN cessation of hostilities (UNSC Resolution 1701) which came into effect on 14 August and has largely been observed so far, and to put a definitive end to the attacks against civilians with a view to deescalating the situation and paving the way for a lasting ceasefire;

6.  Emphasises that there is a real fear of a new arms race in the region, which must be immediately halted; calls, in this regard, on the countries of the region and on the Lebanese army to stop arms supplies to Hezbollah, and calls on Member States to strictly respect the Code of Conduct on Arms Exports as regards all deliveries of weapons to the region;

7.  Welcomes the Council’s determination at a later stage to put an end to hostilities and reach a ceasefire and to the decisive contribution of European peace-keeping forces to UNIFIL, which is going to be bolstered from its current level of 1 990 soldiers to 15 000; regrets, nevertheless, the unpreparedness of the EU to deploy a real integrated European force under the UN mandate which could have sped up the operations;

8.  Supports the mandate given to UNIFIL and calls on EU Member States to provide the necessary troops and other logistical support so as to ensure the success of this mission; reiterates its support for the sending of a strong international stabilisation force under UN supervision and calls on the Council to take concrete action; is of the opinion that the international stabilisation force should also be extended to the northern part of Israel and the Occupied Territories;

9.  Is of the opinion, furthermore, that a strong contingent of Arab and Islamic countries is necessary for the full success of the operation;

10.  Stresses nevertheless the importance of clearly and adequately defining the mandate, structure and competences of UNIFIL, if necessary to be agreed under a new UN Security Council Resolution which should take into account the lessons learnt from previous UN peacekeeping engagements, notably in Bosnia and Herzegovina;

11.  Points out that strong, quick and effective efforts are needed to rebuild Lebanon both physically and politically; welcomes, in this regard, the conclusions of the Stockholm Conference for Lebanon’s Early Recovery held on 31 August, in which donor countries pledged US$ 940 million to rebuild the country, with EUR 120 million in humanitarian aid coming from the Commission and the Member States;

12.  Points out that according to the Lebanese Government's first estimates the cost of damage and loss amounts to 3.5 billion dollars; takes the view that only quick and effective international reconstruction measures, supported by a medium- and long-term engagement, can contribute to preventing radical movements from benefiting from the present catastrophic situation; calls, in this regard, for strict control of how the international aid is delivered;

13.  Stresses the obligation under international humanitarian law to ensure access and safe passage for displaced persons, humanitarian workers and supplies; draws attention in this context to the special needs of the still very large and potentially vulnerable group of migrant workers from developing countries and their dependents;

14.  Highlights, in this regard, the need for quick international action aimed at demining and ridding the territory of any other unexploded ordnances in order to make the return of displaced people safe;

15.  Expects Israel to make a consistent and decisive financial contribution to the reconstruction of Lebanon; calls in this regard, on the EU members of the UN Security Council to make every effort to activate the UN Compensation Commission which processed millions of claims - both large and small - resulting from Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990;

16.  Calls on Israel to immediately put an end to the air and sea blockade of the country;

17.  Urges the countries of the region to support and respect Lebanon’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, abstaining from interfering in its internal affairs, and calls for the full implementation of the 1989 Taif accord;

18.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to make every effort to support Lebanon's democratic forces and civil society and strengthen a unified central government;

19.  Is of the opinion that Hezbollah must acknowledge and accept the Lebanese state's exclusive right to possess armaments and use force, and must therefore hand its armaments over to the Lebanese army in order to complete its transformation into a full-fledged political force, capable of playing an important role in a democratic Lebanon;

20.  Calls, in this regard, on the Council to develop a programme of disarmament of Hezbollah militias, taking stock of the experience of Operation Concordia in Macedonia, where a previous political agreement between both conflicting parties led to voluntary disarmament;

21.  Stresses that the current crisis has brought the Middle East peace process back to the top of the international agenda; takes the view that, after the failure of US policy in the area, a new leadership role for the EU in the Middle East demanding a peaceful resolution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be foreseen from now on: Europe's diplomatic and political role should now be commensurate with its peace-keeping and humanitarian action;

22.  Calls, in this regard, on the Council to make every effort to reform the Quartet, making it more effective and operational, and bring the Roadmap back on track;

23.  Calls on the Council to make every effort to convene a regional peace conference – like the Madrid Conference in 1991 – in order to find a comprehensive, lasting and viable solution to the problems in the area, which includes the right of Israel to live in secure and recognised borders and the right to a viable state for the Palestinians based on the Occupied Territories, and to deal in full with security and disarmament issues;

24.  Takes the view that the structure of the Quartet should be reshaped and enlarged to the Arab League; considers the 'Beirut Plan' of 2002, agreed by the Member Countries of the Arab League, and the Geneva Initiative as important contributions for the negotiations, that should be duly taken into account;

25.  Is of the opinion that the bloodshed  in Gaza after the disengagement and the war in Lebanon prove once again the failure of the unilateral approach; points out that there is no alternative to a directly negotiated peace between all the parties concerned, including Syria and Iran;

26.  Calls on Israel to permit the movement of people, thus respecting the Agreement on Movement and Access, to stop destroying the basic infrastructures of Gaza, to restart the payment of tax and customs revenues and to enable dialogue with the ANP;

27.  Encourages and supports the talks between the Palestinian factions over a possible unity government, paving the way for the resumption of direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority in compliance with EU demands;

28.  Calls for the immediate release of members of the Palestinian Authority government and of the Legislative Council, and in particular of its speaker Aziz Dweik; calls, at the same time, for the release of the Israeli soldiers still in the hands of Hezbollah militias and the one kidnapped in the Gaza Strip; supports the ongoing informal negotiations and hopes that they can be successful with a view also to solving the plight of the Lebanese prisoners detained in Israel;

29.  Calls on the Council to make every effort to restart a genuine dialogue with Syria with a view to engaging this country in peace efforts; takes the view, in this regard, that the signing of the Association Agreement between the EC and Syria could represent a very important step forward in this direction, also enabling the Council and the Commission to raise and deal more effectively with the serious human rights violations taking place in Syria;

30.  Calls for a comprehensive international high-level inquiry to be conducted in Lebanon and Israel with a mandate to investigate reports of serious human rights violations, the plight of victims, the violation of humanitarian law, the killing of the four members of UNIFIL, the Qana massacre and the use of chemical weapons, cluster bombs and bombs with depleted uranium, and lay the foundations for possible reparation and accountability measures;

31.  Takes the view, in this respect, that the conclusions of this inquiry could affect the association agreements with the countries of the area within the context of the Euromediterranean Partnership;

32.  Draws attention to the role that the Euromediterranean Partnership must play in bringing all the parties together and promoting dialogue, with particular reference to its parliamentary assembly and the civil society forum; supports the request to convene an extraordinary meeting of the Euromed Council of Foreign Ministers of the Barcelona Process as soon as possible;

33.  Welcomes the early action of the Commission’s monitoring and information center planning to tackle the oil slick that has contaminated more than 50 km of Lebanese coastline, and calls for unhindered continued and effective technical and financial assistance to the cleaning-up operations;

34.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the UN Secretary-General, the governments and parliaments of Lebanon and Israel, the President and Legislative Assembly of the Palestinian Authority, and the governments and parliaments of the countries in the region.